How to Use Pokémon Go & Yelp for Local Marketing

By now, you’ve probably heard all about Pokémon Go, and you may have even played it yourself. Players have flocked to this augmented reality game that allows them to “catch” Pokémon on their phones in the “real” world. But, did you know that some local businesses have actually leveraged this, plus Yelp, to boost sales?

Yelp has long been a go-to website and mobile app for finding local businesses. Now, they have given businesses that are included in the Pokémon Go game a way to attract local players through a handy Yelp filter. This filter gives Pokémon Go gamers a centralized way to find businesses near them that are already designated as PokéStops or Pokémon gyms (which can be tricky otherwise).

This is just one interesting and timely way you can use Yelp and its features to improve your local marketing and reach more customers. Here’s a look at three ways you should consider using Yelp in your local marketing: 

Adding Your PokéStops or Pokémon Gym to Yelp’s Pokémon Go Filter

The Pokémon Go game pre-designated many locations, including some businesses, as special PokéStops or Pokémon gyms in their augmented reality game. Many of these local businesses are reporting increased sales and foot traffic to their locations thanks to being mapped into Pokémon Go. For example, GameStop’s CEO told CNBC that their storefronts designated as PokéStops or Pokémon gyms saw sales increase by 100% in one weekend. If you want to get involved with this phenomenon, there are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Download Pokémon Go to see whether or not your business is a Pokéstop. Niantic, the developer behind Pokémon Go, may have already mapped your location into the game. If that’s the case, you can create signage to let players know to catch Pokémon at your location or you can create special offers just for them. If your business isn’t a PokéStop, you can request for it to be added, but there are no guarantees that your request will be accepted, and the company is just starting to experiment with “sponsored” PokéStops.
  2. Buy some Lures. Lures are placed at PokéStops to attract more Pokémon, which, in turn, attracts more players. If your business isn’t a PokéStop but is near one, you can place a Lure there and entice players to your business with a phone charging station, free samples, or special offers after they’ve caught their Pokémon.
  3. Add your PokéStop to Yelp. If your business is a PokéStop, you can add it to Yelp so you’ll be included in the Pokémon Go filter. To add your location, simply check in to your business on the Yelp app, and answer a quick question to let Yelp know a PokéStop is nearby.

Claiming Your Yelp Listing

Yelp reports about 145 million unique visitors each month, and around 60% of those visitors are on a mobile. Additionally, 90% of Yelp users said that positive reviews impact their company buying choices. So, having your business listed on Yelp can help you get in front of a large number of local users searching for your products and services. Set up your listing on Yelp, and optimize it by including images, accurate and updated business information, and your website URL. You can also encourage your happy customers to leave you a review (but never offer an incentive for reviews).

Advertising & Driving a Call to Action

Yelp advertising gives you a way to get your Yelp listing in front of people searching on their website or mobile app for businesses like yours. Plus, it enables you to further optimize your business listing with an enhanced profile that offers a Call to Action button at the top of your page, among other benefits. With Yelp advertising, you can access an enhanced profile to drive actions like phone calls, website visits, or in-store visits to turn visitors to your listing into actual customers.

Having a claimed listing on Yelp, including a Call to Action button through Yelp advertising, and harnessing the popularity of Pokémon Go can help you leverage this popular platform to boost your marketing strategy and reach more local customers online.

How are you using Yelp to market your business? Let us know in the comments!

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Sr. Marketing Manager for USA TODAY NETWORK | LOCALiQ. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys watching reality TV with her husband and her dogs.

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